DOL Boss Threatened with Congressional Investigation into Alleged Corruption
A Democratic congresswoman wants a Justice Department investigation into Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and his role in a 2007 plea deal offered to hedge fund manager and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Washington Examiner writes.
"Based on newly reported documents and a group of brave women coming forward to share their stories, it appears that, as a federal prosecutor, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta gave a sweetheart deal to a wealthy and well-connected serial sex offender, and hid it from dozens of victims, some of whom were still coming forward," said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in a letter she’s circulating among her colleagues to formally request an investigation, according to the paper.
In 2007, following allegations he had sexually abused dozens of women, many of them underage, Epstein was convicted of two counts of prostitution and ended up serving just 13 months in a county jail, the Examiner writes. Last week, an in-depth investigative article published by the Miami Herald suggested Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney in Miami at the time, bowed to pressure from Epstein’s lawyers, and agreed to limit publicity around the case, according to the Examiner. During the investigation of sexual abuse allegations against him, Epstein was also a key federal witness against Bear Stearns executives charged with securities fraud, the paper writes.
Wasserman Schultz’s office tells the Examiner the congresswoman’s request is being directed to the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General, since it would pertain to Acosta’s actions while he was an employee of the department.
In 2017, during his confirmation hearing as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary, Acosta defended his actions by saying a guarantee of jail time and registration as a sexual predator “is a good thing,” according to the paper.
A DOL spokesman tells the Examiner the “matter has been publicly addressed previously” and that “the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has defended the actions in this case across three administrations.”